About me

A Brief Biography:

I was born in Connecticut, and have lived most of my life in New England. Graduate school in biology & ecology took me west for several years, to Alaska and then Arizona, after which I returned to New England to teach at Middlebury College in Vermont. I was a professor of biology at Middlebury from 1996 until 2020; I served as the Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2012 through June, 2019.  In my work as an ecologist, I studied the effects of climate change on forests in Alaska and Siberia.  I had the great fortune to spend most summers – often with students at my side – in Alaska, studying treeline forests. During my time at Middlebury, I taught classes on plant ecology, evolution, and climate change.

Photo credit: Caleb Kenna Photography

I left Middlebury College in June of 2019 to pursue a call to ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ. That journey took me back to Connecticut, to the Andover Newton Theological Seminary at Yale Divinity School. I graduated in May of 2022, and on June 5, 2022 was ordained to ministry in the United Church of Christ. I am currently serving as the pastor of the Trinitarian Congregational Parish of Castine, Maine.

Although I have left the world of doing science behind, my interest in climate change and creation justice and my passion for ecology continue to inform my understanding of the ministry to which I am called. My continued interest in climate change found joyful expression in a recently completed co-authored book project. Written with my pastor, the Rev. Andy Nagy-Benson, Letters from the Ecotone: Ecology, Theology, and Climate Change reflects on the ecology and theology of climate change – and on what it is to live in a time of climate change. The book was published in December 2022 by Resource Publications, an imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers.

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